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Nebraska court denies lawyer’s motion to leave death case

Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska’s highest court has denied an attorney’s request to withdraw from a case involving a death row inmate who isn’t fighting the state’s efforts to execute him.

The Nebraska Supreme Court issued the ruling Tuesday after defense attorney Jeff Pickens argued that his duty to provide competent legal representation conflicts with his obligation to follow the wishes of his client, Carey Dean Moore.

Pickens says he could make multiple legal arguments to prevent the scheduled Aug. 14 execution, but Moore has ordered him not to file anything. Moore was sentenced to death for the 1979 fatal shootings of two Omaha cab drivers.

Replacing Pickens with another attorney likely would have delayed the execution. A key drug in Nebraska’s lethal injection supply, potassium chloride, expires on Aug. 31.

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